Mussina looks to keep Yanks rolling

Mussina looks to keep Yanks rolling

BOSTON -- With a series victory already assured, the Yankees will try to turn a good weekend in Boston into a great one when they play the Red Sox in the fourth game of the five-game set at Fenway Park.

And they'll have their most consistent pitcher on the mound for good measure.

Mike Mussina takes the hill against Boston's Curt Schilling in a matchup of each club's ace pitcher.

"We do this a lot and we get matched up against other quality starters, so you just go out there and prepare your game the way you prepare your other 33 or 34 games a year and get as deep into the game as you possibly can and hope we can find a way to score some runs," Mussina said. "The last two days we've done real well offensively, but every day is different, so you have to go out there pitching, assuming it's going to be a tight game and don't ever assume we're going to score 10 runs every game."

The task of scoring runs against Red Sox ace Curt Schilling will fall on the shoulders of a lineup that has averaged 13 runs in the first three games, becoming the first team ever to score 12 or more runs in three straight games against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

"It helps to have a little momentum, but it can change so fast in this game," Jason Giambi said. "I don't think it carries into that next game. We're playing great baseball right now, but we need Moose to go out and throw a good game, especially against Schil."

"This feels pretty good," Johnny Damon said of the three-game outburst. "We're pretty focused. By no means are we celebrating. We're already focused on what we have to do [Sunday] against Curt Schilling and hopefully we can get the same kind of results."

Saturday's 13-5 rout at Fenway improved New York to 8-5 this year against its archrival and increased its lead over Boston to 4 1/2 games in the American League East. The Yankees, at 73-48, are also 25 games over .500 for the first time this season.

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP Mike Mussina (13-5, 3.54 ERA)
Mussina is getting frustrated with his performances of late. Despite pitching well enough to have a 4-2 record over his past eight games, he's allowed at least three runs in seven of those starts. He surrendered three runs in six innings against Baltimore on Tuesday, his second straight six-inning, three-run performance. Mussina is 2-0 with a 4.97 ERA against the Red Sox this season.

BOS: RHP Curt Schilling (14-5, 3.83 ERA)
After a rough outing in Kansas City, Schilling put on a vintage display of grit in a no-decision against Detroit. The big righty pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and nine hits. He allowed both runs in the seventh inning on three straight hits, but then finished the inning by getting three consecutive strikeouts.

Player to watch
Bobby Abreu has reached base safely in 12 of his 18 plate appearances in the series. He is 7-for-13 (.538) with three doubles, two RBIs, four runs and five walks in the first three games.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WCBS 880 AM, WKDM 1380 AM (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Yankees (RHP Cory Lidle, 9-9, 4.64) at Red Sox (LHP David Wells, 2-2, 6.06), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Yankees (RHP Jaret Wright, 9-7, 4.54) at Mariners (RHP Gil Meche, 9-8, 4.66), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Yankees (RHP Chien-Ming Wang, 14-5, 3.86) at Mariners (LHP Jamie Moyer, 6-12, 4.39), 10:05 p.m. ET

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.